Strange characters are not something new to Japan. Sanrio’s anthropomorphic egg, affectionately named “Gudetama” which literally translates to ‘Lazy Egg’ in English is no exception.
The Japanese family is in trouble. But then again, that’s nothing new. Traditionally speaking, family ties are the most sacred of Japanese relationships. But I’m not so sure, it seems like a lot of Japanese — especially parents — have historically and consistently treated their offspring like shit. Time and again, they’ve shown how family means […]
“The Only Woman in the Room”/ How The Amazing Beate Wrote Equal Rights For Women Into Japan’s Constitution
Is Japan’s peacetime constitution going to be trashed by the ruling party and returned back to the Imperial Constitution, which did not give suffrage or equal rights to women?
This question will be on the mind and haunt your waking hours after reading “The Only Woman in the Room” by Beate Sirota Gordon. In this memoir, she takes us through the various events in her life made remarkable by the fact that in late 1945, she became a member on the US Occupation team that drew up Japan’s National Constitution. Not only was she the only woman in the room, she was just 22 years old.
Jake shows me his phone, sharing a photo he claims is worth a billion dollars. It’s a yet to be released shot of a crime family boss with the president of Japan University, who’s also the head of the Japanese Olympic Committee. The implications for corruption are obvious. “I’m publishing a story on this. The reporter who originally had this was beaten severely.” It was my idea that we meet and get dinner in the first place so I naturally offered to treat when we first corresponded. When the waitress brings a to go bag with dishes never intended to be eaten during dinner I can only laugh to myself… journalism never has, and maybe never will pay, but I’m more than happy to subsidize the honest work of a damn good investigative journalist.
Jake clearly feeds off the danger. Sure enough the piece was published days later. I get a strange feeling, not that I’m a clairvoyant, but just sometime tells me that Jake is pushing his luck. He insists that he knows what he’s doing. But that’s what I’m afraid of.
What makes Japan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announcement particulary surreal and disingenuous is that MOFA and the Japanese government have known that Kenji Goto was being held for a ransom of 10 million dollars since November of last year.
Former Asahi journalist defends his reporting on comfort women; sues Japanese publisher for defamation & resulting threats
A former journalist who used to report at the nation desk (社会部）of the Asahi newspaper about comfort women, or women forced into sex slavery by the Japanese military during WWII, filed charges for defamation of character on Friday at the Tokyo District Court against a Japanese publisher and a Tokyo Christian University Professor, who labeled […]
Igari-san wasn’t an investigative journalist and he wasn’t a saint. But he fought for justice and for truth, and as an investigative journalist, I’ve always believed that’s what our job entailed. Forgive me if that sounds naive. I believe that, if no one stands up to the anti-social forces in the world, then we all lose.
Still, Masuno’s book is hugely inspiring, if only because it makes us realize the seeds of beauty are within. All we have to do is become aware of it, and from that moment something will have changed. It may be an inflection in the voice, or a change in the way one holds an umbrella, or yes – even the way one stands in the Yamanote line. Zen is the one method that beautifies the physique, as well as the way one perceives the world, free of charge.
By Kaori Shoji As long as time immemorial, being a woman in Japan meant the rawest of deals. The long, long tradition of top-down patriarchy held that women were good for of either two things: sexual slavery or household drudgery. Once a woman got past her reproductive years, she was expected to control the younger […]
I count this as one of my teaching successes. One of my Japanese students is a budding illustrator, and one of her characters is Gachico. Last year when she started as a first year student, Gachico’s speech bubble read, “I don’t like English.” I teased her about it a little bit, and eventually we started chatting more and more outside of class. This year when she turned in her English folder at the end of term, Gachico’s old remarks had been erased, and this was written instead…..